Roland Turner

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Olympic Torch, Pyrmont, Sydney, NSW, Australia

On Septmeber 3, I encountered the torch on its progress through Sydney a couple of times. The first was as it was about to pass through Katoomba (in the Blue Mountains, immediately west of Sydney). In fact, we (Marque and myself) ended up stuck behind the torch bearers' bus as it was depositing the bearers along the road.

We then headed for my father's place in Mt. Pleasant (near Penrith, at the foot of the Blue Mountains. 100m from the Northern Rd., we spotted a herd (flock?, gaggle? bound?) of kangaroos. Fortunately there was a fence (thus reducing the mutual risk that traffic and kangaroos present to each other), but I was a little surprised to see them this close to a main road. We also visited the Regatta Centre. Naturally, so close to the Olympics, we couldn't get in, but we did spot some very odd topiary on the roundabout nearby.

That evening, we joined my parents to see the torch arrive at Jameson Park, Penrith, where the evening's cauldron was lit, entertainment was had, etc.

Today (September 15), the final day of the torch relay and day of the opening ceremony, the torch comes to Pyrmont. It travelled up Harris St, about 150m from home.

The crowd at 5:19am.

The enlarged crowd just four minutes later begins occupying the road. The police officer on the motorcycle begins telling everybody to get off the road. The torch-bearers' bus exploits the opening.

Ten minutes later, the roar begins. The torch arrived, and then of course, left. No doubt people headed for bed shortly after this point.

(Technical note: Why was that last picture so blue? Well, all of the previous photos were taken close to the intersection where there are lots of street-lights which cast a reddish tinge on a photo taken by a CCD. Fortunately my camera has a white balance (colour correction) facility to deal with this. Prior to taking any of the above photos, I carefully adjusted it so that the combination of street lights and flash produced a correct looking result. Just prior to the torch arriving, I realised that the crowd around me had grown to the point where I wasn't going to have room to take a clear photo. At the same time I realised that about 30m up the road, there was no crowd at all, perhaps because there are almost no street lights, so it was dark and uninviting. Anyway, I had myself in position just in time, forgot that the absence of street lights would mean that the colour correction was now wrong, and took the photo with little more than the flash for light. When my camera is attempting to compensate for reddish light that isn't actually there, the picture comes out blue. I don't know enough about CCDs to provide an adequate explanation. I also wish that I'd taken the shot about 10s earlier so that guy running with the torch bearer wasn't in the middle of the shot, but them's the breaks.)